The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By William Appleton
Friday, November 4, 2022, 2:56 PM

Shauhin Talesh reviewed Josephine Wolff’s recent book “Cyberinsurance Policy: Rethinking Risk in an Age of Ransomware, Computer Fraud, Data Breaches, and Cyberattacks.” Wolff’s book dives headfirst into the issues surrounding cyber insurance, covering the origin of the cyber insurance market, the role played by industry and government in the development of the market, and the range of threats covered under these policies. 

Daniel Byman discussed the influence of big tech companies in context of foreign policy developments and argued that increased coordination between companies and democratic governments could help  advance the foreign policy objectives of those governments. 

Brenda Dvoskin discussed the Facebook Oversight Board’s use of international human rights law to justify its content moderation decisions and argued that the board’s interpretations mimic previous interpretations explicitly rejected by the U.N. Human Rights Council.  

Jake Laperruque provided a detailed summary of The Facial Recognition Act, a bill that would broadly limit law enforcement use of facial recognition technology. Laperruque discussed the current lack of federal legislative action to address the largely unregulated technology despite bipartisan consensus and various state measures taken to reign in the use of facial recognition in the absence of federal regulations. 

William Appleton shared a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis and review of the office’s activity by the DHS Office of General Council detailing DHS surveillance and interrogation of demonstrators in Portland, Oregon in 2020. The reports were released by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Oct. 27.

Adam Isles discussed the increasingly disruptive cyberattacks on financial institutions and argued the importance of encouraging high-performing cybersecurity programs in the banking sector by complementing required “sticks” with voluntary “carrots” in regulatory incentivization. 

Alan Rozenshtein sat down with Danielle Citron to discuss the dangers posed by technology and the market to intimate privacy, what can be done to fight back, and her research and advocacy in the area of digital privacy:

Quinta Jurecic discussed the Oct. 28 attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in his San Francisco residence. Jurecic discussed increased political violence, violent rhetoric, and how the right-wing media ecosystem fuels that rhetoric. 

Katherine Pompilio shared the Oct. 31 criminal complaint charging David Wayne DePape with one count of attempted kidnapping of a United States official and one count of assault on an immediate family member of a United States official. The charges relate to the Oct. 28 incident when DePape broke into the San Francisco home of U.S.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and resulted in a physical altercation between DePape and the speaker’s husband, Paul Pelosi. 

Rozenshtein, Jurecic, and Scott R. Anderson sat down to discuss the Biden administration’s recent Nuclear Posture Review, the Justice Department’s new guidelines for prosecutors detailing when and how they can subpoena and arrest journalists, and the recent attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: 

Saraphin Dhanani and Tyler McBrien compared the National Security Strategies of the Biden and Trump administrations to provide insight into the current administration's priorities, focusing on climate change, trade, immigration, great power competition, and more. 

Erin Sikorsky analyzed the Biden administration's recently released National Security Strategy (NSS) and its framing of climate change as a top-tier threat to U.S. national security. Sikorsky discussed how the NSS links the geopolitical environment to the threat of climate change, and the inadequacies of the current system of international governance to respond to the threat. 

Anderson sat down with Richard Fontaine to discuss the Biden administration's recently released National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, and Nuclear Posture Review. They discussed the role the strategy documents play in U.S. foreign policy, what can be learned from the documents, and what they say about the state of the world and the U.S.’s role in it:

Teresa Chen, Alana Nance, and Han-ah Sumner summarized the Biden administration's Pacific Partnership Strategy. They also discussed U.S. military developments including recent joint military exercises, China’s latest moves to strengthen both its naval and air force capabilities, increased provocations by North Korea, and the implications for diplomacy and conflict in the Indo-Pacific region. 

Appleton shared the Oct. 31 decision by the International Criminal Court authorizing the Office of the Prosecutor to resume its investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan.

Natalie Orpett sat down with Dhanani and Benjamin Wittes to discuss the legal requirements for a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) designation, how an FTO designation would interact with existing U.S. sanctions, and what impact the designation might have on Russia’s war in Ukraine:

Jessica Davis, Thomas Juneau, and Leah West discussed the current Canadian conundrum of whether to list Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp as a terrorist entity. They evaluated the impacts of sanctions imposed by the government of Canada and argued that targeted sanctions are likely more effective than a terrorist entity designation. 

Wittes sat down with Natan Sachs to discuss the recent Israeli elections, how former Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu won while getting no more votes than the other side, how Netanyahu imposed unity on his side, and more:

McBrien sat down with Brian Winter, editor in chief of Americas Quarterly, to discuss the results of the recent Brazilian election. They spoke about whether warnings of an election crisis were alarmist or not, what’s next for now former President Jair Bolsonaro, and what to watch for during president-elect Lula’s first 100 days:

Nicol Turner Lee sat down with Gabriel Sanchez, a David M. Rubenstein fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, and Nora Benavidez, senior counsel and director of Digital Justice and Civil Rights at Free Press, to discuss the Spanish-language media ecosystem, the prevalence of mis- and disinformation, and how to better identify and mitigate it to avoid potential voter suppression impacting Latino voters ahead of the midterm elections:

Dakota Foster explored the tension between elections and state-level emergency powers granted to governors, the ability of governors to influence elections through their use of emergency powers, and highlighted the inherently vague nature of state-level emergency power statutes. 

David Priess chatted with Vince Houghton, director of the National Cryptologic Museum, about the reality and fictional representation of cryptography, the highly unusual objects on display at the museum, and cinematic depictions of ciphers or code:

And Stewart Baker sat down with Nate Jones, Jordan Schneider, and Jamil Jaffer to discuss a criminal investigation into Tesla, the recent indictment of two Chinese spies, the Transportation Security Administration’s new railroad cybersecurity directive, and more:

And that was the week that was.